This past August, Tim, the kids, and I attended Moguate, a camp for adoptive families with children from Guatemala, in Lake Ozarks, Missouri, founded by one Cindy Swatek. I met Cindy through cyberspace: we’re both adoptive moms, and Cindy had sent me a nice note after reading my book, Mamalita. Later, she invited me to speak to the group at Moguate, which I did.
Everything about Moguate was wonderful—the other families, the resort, the mercado, the friendships among our children—but perhaps the most amazing element of all was Cindy Swatek herself. That woman is a powerhouse. Cindy possesses the same qualities as the rest of us—personality, energy, and a love of life—but to a power of ten. Make that a power of a thousand. After spending five minutes in a room with Cindy, I realized, “This woman can do absolutely anything she puts her mind to.” Cindy is a tornado and a hurricane, at the same time she is a blissful, cloudless, sunny day. And also very funny.
Last year, Cindy and her husband, Matt, started the Affording Adoption Foundation, to help families who may be deterred from adopting because of financial restraints. When I learned this, I actually wasn’t surprised, because Cindy is the kind of person who sees a need, and fills it. If a solution doesn’t exist, she’ll create one. Here’s a description of Cindy’s vision from the foundation website:
What is the Affording Adoption Foundation?
Millions of orphans. People yearning to bring a child into their home. Financial obstacles. Through fundraising efforts and donor support we help close the gap between families considering bringing a child into their home and the moment a child hears “Welcome Home!”
Making an Impact
As of August 2011, $9800 has been given to 6 different families to help bring home 11 children from all over the world!
According to recent studies, more than 50% of Americans consider Adoption, but say that the financial burden prevents them from actually adopting a child. You might want to adopt, but the financial burden may seem insurmountable. That’s where we can help! Apply for one of our Adoption Grants and see how we can help you realize your dream of bringing a child into your family!
And here’s the “Why”:
My husband, Matthew and I have two kids who were adopted as infants from Guatemala and knew that our family was complete but still yearned to help other people either start or add to their families. That led to the beginning of the Affording Adoption Foundation in 2010.
It was one of the most exciting days of my life (besides my wedding day and the days that we found out about each of our kids, of course!) when I was able to call the recipients of our first Grants to tell them that they had been chosen to receive money to help fund their adoptions!!! In one day, I made two phone calls and gave away more than $5000 thanks to donors and supporters!! YAY! That has motivated us to work harder, raise more money and help more families!
During each application period, we will seek donors and have fundraisers to help fund the next Grants. We won’t know the exact amount of each grant, but will give away as much money as we bring in. We are constantly looking at new innovative ways to raise money because we want to help as many children find homes as possible!
Oh, and did I mention Cindy is also the president of her children’s school’s PTA? You can see a photo of her with her beautiful family, above. For more information about how to apply for an adoption grant or ways to contribute, visit the Affording Adoption Foundation website. No individual person can change the world, but Cindy is doing her best to affect one small part of it.